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Does Robert Crosbie Have A Special Status in the U.L.T.?

Mar 17, 1999 09:08 AM
by David Green

Does Robert Crosbie Have A Special Status in the U.L.T.?

In 1998, Dr. James Santucci, editor of THEOSOPHICAL HISTORY, in an 
encyclopedia article on the U.L.T., penned the following in regards to 
the U.L.T. founder, Mr Robert Crosbie---

"Even Crosbie himself claimed no special status, although he is 
naturally held in high esteem by [U.L.T.] associates."  THE ENCYCLOPEDIA 
OF CULTS, SECTS AND NEW RELIGIONS, Prometheus Press, page 504.

U.L.T. associates certainly hold Mr Robert Crosbie in high regard but 
the U.L.T. elite have declared (both implicitly & explicitly) the 
unique & special status of the U.L.T. founder.  A few quotes will 
suffice for this forum----

In 1915, Mr Robert Crosbie made a special claim about W Q Judge---

"After her death in 1891, the Esoteric Section--now School [the Second 
Section] -- was reorganized.  Mr. Judge was looked to and accepted by 
all as the LINK between the School [2nd Section] and the Masters [1st 
Section], and between the School [2nd Section]and the Society [3rd 
Section].  It is clear in our minds that the last phrase of H.P.B.: 
*referred directly to Mr. Judge.*"  THEOSOPHY magazine, JUNE 1915, page 

Some four years later, in 1919, Mr John Garrigues declared in Mr 
Crosbie's obituary in THEOSOPHY magazine---

"Robert Crosbie preserved unbroken the link of the Second Section [the 
Esoteric School] of the Theosophical Movement from the passing of Mr. 
Judge in 1896, and in 1907--just eleven years later--made that link once 
more Four Square amongst men.  In the year 1909 the Third Section was 
restored by the formation of the United Lodge of Theosophists...." 
THEOSOPHY magazine, Volume 7, page 289.

Compare Mr Garrigues' claim with Mr Crosbie's claim about W Q Judge.  
The implication is that Mr Crosbie followed in Mr Judge's footsteps, 
that Mr Crosbie was the "successor" to Mr Judge, that Mr Crosbie somehow 
safeguarded the Esoteric School.  

Mr Garrigues' statement brings several questions to mind.  How did Mr 
Crosbie preserve the "link" of the Esoteric School during the years 1896 
through 1907?  And how was that link made "once more Four Square amongst 
men"?  How did Mr Crosbie preserve unbroken the Esoteric link from 1896 
to 1904 when he was a devoted follower & vigorous defender of the claims 
of Mrs Katherine Tingley, whom Crosbie had repeatedly acknowledged as 
the true Outer Head of the Second Section?

Again in 1925, Mr Garrigues and other ULT associates of the inner circle 

"There is never any failure on the part of the Masters of the First 
Section, or their Messengers and other agents of the Second Section. . . 
. [H.P.B.'s] mission has not closed, nor have the chelas of the Second 
Section, old and new, ceased their labors, albeit they work in 'secrecy 
and silence' until 1975. . . ."

[How does Mr Garrigues know this?  Is he referring to the work of Mr 
Crosbie and the U.L.T.'s Esoteric School?]

". . . .Quite apart from the continuous work of the Disciples of the 
Second Section amongst those to whom they are sent. . . [Compare this 
claim with what Wane Kell writes below.] there are those signs by which 
the thoughtful and reverent layman. . . may recognize the unbroken 
continuity of even the Third Section of the Theosophical Movement."

"Out of India . . . has come to the West another true student of the 
wisdom of the 'Secret Doctrine', B.P. Wadia. . . ."

"In the United States, Mr. Robert Crosbie. . . who for many years had 
the benefit of direct training and instruction from both H.P.B. and Mr. 
Judge, established in 1909 at Los Angeles, California, the parent United 
Lodge of Theosophists, after witnessing the final dissolution of the 
work left at Mr. Judge's death [in 1896].  Mr. Crosbie was imbued with 
the conviction that the model set in the Preliminary Memorandum [of the 
Esoteric (Second) Section] by H.P.B. was the true and enduring modulus 
for Theosophical study and work after her heart. . . .He died in 1919, 
but during his entire period of active Theosophical work, he labored to 
restore the calumniated reputations of H.P.B. and Mr. Judge, convinced 
that until their unique status was recognized by Theosophists at large, 
no return to the Source of the Movement and no continuity of the 
original effort could succeed. . . ."  THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT, 1925, 
pages 698-703.

Mr Garriques et al fail to mention that from 1896 to 1904 Mr Crosbie was 
also laboring "to restore the calumniated reputation" of Mrs Tingley. 
Nor do the U.L.T. writers mention that during the time period in 
question Mr Crosbie was equally "convinced" of Mrs Tingley's "unique 

Also note that another claim is made *without any evidence whatsoever* 
that Mr Crosbie "had the benefit of direct training and instruction from 
both H.P.B. and Mr. Judge."

In recent years, Wane Kell, U.L.T. biographer/apologist for Mr Crosbie 
has written:

"Considering the CLOSE relationship that existed between Mr. Crosbie and 
Mr. Judge, and the SPECIAL position that Mr. Crosbie occupies in the 
Theosophical Movement of modern times, one wonders whether Mr. Crosbie 
might not be considered a 'shepherd' who was following his straying 
'flock" [i.e., Mrs Tingley's Point Loma TS and its members???].  And 
when that 'flock' dispersed [i.e., when Crosbie was expelled by Mrs 
Tingley???], the 'shepherd' went in search of a 
new one [the parent United Lodge of Theosophists which Crosbie 

Is this not an excellent example of revisionistic history?  Compare Mr 
Kell's description of Crosbie as a "shepherd" with Mr Garriques' 1919 

I venture to suggest that the U.L.T. has claimed a "special status" for 
Mr Robert Crosbie.  I've other quotations in support of this thesis from 
THEOSOPHY magazine that will be incorporated into my final essay on 
Robert Crosbie and the U.L.T.'s Esoteric School.

David Green

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